Flanked by rustic stone columns and carved lions, 5 Seasons Brewing's entrance looks like the secluded front to a Napa Valley villa, belying its cozy atmosphere and community-focused mission to provide tasty, affordable food and drink. Founded by chef David Larkworthy—son of a pioneering advocate of using organic food in restaurants—Five Seasons Brewing carries its commitment to community to its ingredients, cooking with a cornucopia of regularly shifting local produce from a gaggle of affiliated farms. The menu features such fusion dishes as crispy alligator served with a blackened chili glaze and Remoulade. At tables, guests dig in to home-baked bread, whose warm crust exudes tangy scents from the brewery's spent beer grain.
In the towering tanks that skirt the pub, brewmaster Kevin McNerney creates a kaleidoscopic selection of unique small-batch beers. The cofounder of flagship Georgia brewer SweetWater, McNerney brings two decades of experience to his craft, making refreshing brews such as the Chug Monkey and turning to ancient Belgian traditions to make his crisp, orange-infused witbier.
Robert Gayle, the executive chef at and owner of Chef Rob's Caribbean Cafe & Upscale Lounge, combines his Caribbean background with a Culinary Institute of America education, gathering flavors from around the world to refine a menu of island comfort fare. After spending his childhood in Jamaica and the West Indies, Chef Rob relocated to the United States and began to develop his culinary lobe at age 13 by working as a steward in Brooklyn. His skills and prestige steadily increased over time, allowing him to eventually open P. Diddy's Atlanta venture, Justin's Restaurant, in 1997 and prepare meals for such celebrities as Jennifer Lopez and Akon. Chef Rob's mental rolodex includes recipes for curried goat, dry-rubbed spare ribs, and his signature spicy jerk seasoning, which he massages into mesquite-grilled chicken. For lighter nighttime fare, diners can convene in the newly opened Chef Rob's Upscale Lounge for hookah, top-shelf cocktails, satisfying tapas, and signature wines. The contemporary furniture completes the swanky atmosphere.
Colorful instruments erupt with sound as belly dancers twirl and shake their bejeweled torsos to the musical beats. As the dancers weave between tables, some diners remain enraptured by the show while others carry on intimate conversations with their companions. Along with belly dancing on Friday and Saturday night, Fanoos Persian Cuisine hosts flamenco music and dancing by performer Calo Gitano on the first Sunday of each month.
In the kitchen, cooks flit about with the same merriment as the dancers. The owners fondly remember the Persian flavors that highlighted their youth and commemorate these recollections with a menu replete with familiar and lesser-known Mediterranean dishes. Steaming platters of shish kebabs and veggie-rich stews served alongside beds of rice round out the menu and complement spirits and international bottles of wine. For special occasions, they also rent out their restaurant for events to entertain up to 400 guests.
At (STAND) UV & Spray Tanning, tanners choose from a variety of traditional and UV-free bronzing methods. With an effect similar to tying the sun around a tetherball pole, standup UV booths feature 360-degree tanning, deepening skin tone during expedient 8- to 11-minute sessions. Patrons opting for sunless tanning can choose between automated Mystic Tan sessions with a choice of four shades of tan or custom Norvell airbrush treatments applied by trained technicians. Additionally, red-light-therapy sessions unclench faces from the grip of Father Time by reducing the appearance of fine lines and large pores, as well as boosting elasticity.
Smashburger isn't just the name—it's the way chefs, otherwise known as Burger Smashers, cook every burger. First, they form never-frozen, 100% Angus beef into a giant meatball. Then they season it, place it on a butter-glazed grill, and smash it into a patty. The process caramelizes the beef, locking in flavor while keeping the meat juicy and tender. Each slab is then sandwiched in an artisan bun and is turned into into one of an array of standard burgers or locally inspired specialties unique to each market. This handcrafting approach typifies everything else the restaurant does, from blending handspun Häagen-Dazs shakes to hand painting Smashburger's logo onto every beverage cup. Letting its food stand for itself and relying mostly on word of mouth for advertising, the Smashburger franchise expanded to 160 restaurants in five years, with its swift growth from zero to 100 stores making it one of the nation's fastest-growing restaurant companies. This rapid development even caught the attention of Forbes and Inc. along the way.
Jose Emidio Sapeta's epicurean journey began on the idyllic Portuguese island of Madeira, but swiftly landed him in the kitchens of Western European eateries, English taverns, and fine Italian restaurants. That might explain the clash of culinary cultures marbled throughout the Emidio's Restaurant menu, which incorporates creative tapas, pastas, and meat dishes bearing Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian influences. Sips of the signature sangria chase bold bites of the restaurant's slew of spicy dishes, coming to a dulcet coda with homemade desserts. During temperate seasons, guests can take in fresh breezes on the outdoor patio as live musicians fill the night air with adorable cartoon music notes.